• Jonathan Bloom writes about why we waste food, why it matters and what we can do about it. This is his blog.

Reducing Waste For The Win

Forget Monday’s boring national championship game. The real college champion crowned this week is Marist College. Yup–Marist!

The pride of Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) won the EPA WasteWise Game Day Challenge in the Per Capita Organics Reduction category. If you select ‘Organics Reduction’ in the pulldown menu, you will see that tiny Marist destroyed the competition, outpacing both the green giants at the University of Colorado at Boulder and those Harvard overachievers.

And it seems Marist may have a bit of a dynasty brewing. They won the inaugural organics challenge in 2010. Go Red Foxes!

Check here to see if your school participated.

January 11, 2012 | Posted in College, Waste Stream | Comments closed

The Big Waste

Last night, the Food Network aired The Big Waste. Apparently, it was a cooking competition using food that would normally have been tossed.

Not having cable, I didn’t catch the show. But I’ll be sure to add it to this post if video becomes available. In the meantime, who saw it? Thoughts?

What I can say is that it’s heartening to see a major television network tackle the topic of food waste and enlist a major food personality like Bobby Flay to do so. So I’m optimistic that this is a positive sign!

(Also–the show reairs Saturday at 4 p.m. EST. )

January 9, 2012 | Posted in General | Comments closed

Friday Buffet

Here’s an updated version of the study tracking the US climate impact of food waste. Food waste represents 1.5% of greenhouse gas emissions? Sounds about right…

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A UK professor has the dirt on the EU’s strict standards for veggies.

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For those of you on Netflix–you can now instantly watch Dive! the quintessential American dumpster diving doc.

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No need for a caucus to determine that composting school food waste in Iowa makes sense!

January 6, 2012 | Posted in Composting, Friday Buffet, International, School, Stats | Comments closed

Halve a Heart

I’ve gushed about the Halfsies idea before, and that was before I saw their amazing introductory video. So, internets–meet Halfsies:

Don’t even try getting that infectious piano and concise messaging out of your head–it’s physiologically impossible.

Good show, Halfsies! All that remains is raising some cash and spreading the idea nationwide. (And then we’ll tackle the rest of the globe…)

January 4, 2012 | Posted in Restaurant | Comments closed

The Year of Butter?

It being 2012, we can safely say the holidays are in the rearview mirror (Right? I’m not forgetting anything, am I?). Given that, I thought it’d be fun to swap tales of holiday leftover usage from your kitchen or others.

Katy, aka The Non-Consumer Advocate, aka Coin Girl, shared this one via Facebook:

Last night I made scalloped potatoes which included the mashed potatoes from Christmas. Tonight I made fettucine alfredo with the last of the whipped cream from Christmas. It turns out that adding obscene amounts of butter to leftovers is the key to palatability.

No food waste in 2012, but much cardiovascular disease.

Kudos to Katy for sacrificing her family’s health to use up those leftovers. Kidding!

While adding boatloads of butter to leftovers is certainly one way to use up your food, there are plenty of other options. What’s the American version of bubble and squeak? Hash?

Anyone have a leftover tale or tip?

January 2, 2012 | Posted in Household, Life to Leftovers | Comments closed

Food Waste Primer

The NRDC recently put out this handy two-page summary on food waste. It provides a compact answer to how much we waste, what it costs and what we can do about it.

There’s a little about the environmental impact, but that’s not the main focus. I’m sure that was intentional, to shift the focus elsewhere.

The document is part of the food section of the NRDC’s Smarter Living initiative. From what I’ve seen, the entire section is worth a gander.

December 28, 2011 | Posted in General | Comments closed

T’was the Day After Christmas…

Christmas leftovers, anyone?

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December 26, 2011 | Posted in Household | Comments closed

Holiday Buffet

Tree gleaning and Chinese food on Christmas?! (And the movie comes afterward, right?) If only I lived in L.A…

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Wait, what?! A report out of LA says that 62% of students there don’t have enough time to eat all of their lunch? That can’t be good for food waste.

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Glad to hear that the city of Tacoma has given residents an early Christmas present–curbside composting, coming this spring.

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This article has it all: general green tips for the holidays, a discussion of
packaging waste vs food waste and minimizing holiday food waste.

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Similarly, here’s more on the topic of food packaging vs. food waste. Unfortunately, it can be one of the only times reducing food waste conflicts with another green cause.

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Token Hanukkah bit: I’ve been surprised by how seamlessly (If I do say so myself) I was able to sneak some leftover veggies into latkes. Just sayin…

Happy Holidays, folks!

December 23, 2011 | Posted in Food Recovery, Friday Buffet, Household, School | Comments closed

The Gift of Food Recovery

Lest you have any doubts on how utterly doable food recovery is…the below video will hopefully communicate that just a few people working together can make a huge dent in local hunger by rescuing and redistributing food. (Heck, one woman and a van can work wonders.)

December 21, 2011 | Posted in Food Recovery | Comments closed

Giving the Gift of Reduced Waste

With the holidays fast approaching, I wanted to pass on a few quick tips to help you minimize holiday food waste:

1. Don’t cook too much food. Thanksgiving celebrates abundance. As far as I know, none of the winter holidays do. Get a good guest count and try not to go overboard. After all, we can only eat so much goose.

2. Don’t serve too much. Let family and friends serve themselves so they can take as much or as little as they want. Beware the “good provider syndrome,”

3. Be proactive with leftovers. Share the love and leftovers–redistribute them to other guests.  And then repurpose what you have leftover. It helps to have an idea of other dishes you can create with leftovers (i.e. roast chicken to chicken soup).

Bonus: Eat some fruitcake–nobody else is going to!

December 19, 2011 | Posted in History and Culture, Household | Comments closed
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